Start with the why: Overflow of love from our hearts!

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People want to understand before they will follow or move. It’s a matter of the heart and so let’s overflow love from our hearts! Our motivation stems from Jesus, who loved us before we asked or deserved it. Today, infuse all actions with purpose, for we are called to love God and our neighbors. Love God, your wives, and kids. Overflow with God’s love into the world you encounter.

Love and Generosity - How much are you willing to give

God’s Unconditional Love as a Model for Fatherhood:

Fathers, you have a calling to mirror God’s unconditional love in your relationships with your children. The Bible affirms in 1 John 4:16 (NIV):

"So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and anyone who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him." 

This verse highlights that God’s essence is love. In the same way, as fathers, we should strive to make love the core of our parenting. Unconditional love involves forgiveness, grace, and acceptance, mirroring God’s love for us even in our imperfections.

God’s Gift of Free Will and Choosing Love:

God, in His infinite wisdom, granted us free will rather than forcing submission through coercion. Joshua 24:15 (NIV) underscores this aspect, stating,

"But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." 

This verse emphasizes the power of choice. Fathers, take the lead, inspiring your children to embrace a life guided by love, faith, and values.

Choosing to Live with Love Freely and Willingly:

Living a life rooted in love is not meant to be a burden but a joyful response to God’s grace. 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV) states,

"Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." 

This verse teaches us about the importance of willing and cheerful giving. Similarly, fathers, your calling is to love your families willingly, deriving genuine joy rather than fulfilling an obligation. Choosing love as our motivation, we mirror God’s divine love, fostering harmony and nurturing environments in our homes.

The model of love

In summary, God’s love serves as a model for fatherhood, and through the gift of free will, we have the opportunity to choose love willingly and joyfully, just as God desires for us.

This year I am using the 365 Daily Devotions book I received for Christmas and applying it towards being dads. It’s called WALKING WITH GOD by DAVID JEREMIAH. It’s exciting to get to learn from a new resource this year as we have tried different options the past two years and will keep working through this one for 2024. For more information about the author and his ministry, visit:


Verse: Philemon 1:14 (NIV)

But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary.

Let’s be the dads who turn to God for wisdom and discernment and His Word to ensure we have consent. Let’s be the dads who don’t assume or presume but instead turn to God through the wisdom and direction of the Holy Spirit to receive from God what He has purposed and planned for our lives! Similarly, let’s be the dads who voluntarily return unto God what He deserves without guilt or compulsion but from an abundance of love!

Today’s Devotional is an interesting story that points us to an encounter between Paul and a slave who had stolen from their boss and ran off. It shares how there was an encounter and conversion that took place in the heart and life of the thief. Pause, read, and return to the reality that we’re called to give willingly, not reluctantly or under compulsion. God loves cheerful givers.

God’s Word speaks

1Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,

To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker— 2also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home:

3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

4I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, 5because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. 6I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. 7Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.

Paul’s Plea for Onesimus

8Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, 9yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus— 10that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. 11Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.

12I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you. 13I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel. 14But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary. 15Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever— 16no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.

17So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. 19I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self. 20I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. 21Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.

22And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers.

23Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. 24And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers.

25The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Philemon 1

Today’s Devotional points us to verses 8-9 that just as Paul didn’t command or force but rather provided the opportunity for the response to be from the overflow of love, for love’s sake, we as dads need to be thinking and looking at situations similarly. Let’s be the dads who choose to model our behaviors and responses after God’s.

Today’s Devotional closes with this thought about God: “The Lord longs for us to obey because we want to, not because we have to. Some religions codify what must be done to others, but true charity comes from the heart.” Today’s Devotional encourages us to choose obedience and following of Jesus to be done from the overflow of our hearts, for love’s sake, because our desire is to please God daily!

We must constantly examine our own lives to insure that proper actions are produced by proper motives.


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